Maybe you’re done with recipes for awhile.
Not so fast.
This invented-on-a-whim creation has turned out to be a unique bittersweet chocolate treat that is unusually grounding. That’s the best I can describe it. Kind of like Zen pie. You get the pleasure yet you also feel you’ve somehow had some time on the cushion.
Not to get all heady on you, but honestly this one works. If you’re looking for a solid dessert that ain’t to sweet yet definitely has a solid seat in the mousse crowd, this might just be your ticket. It’s rich, so not an every day affair. Yet small slices work on this creation. You’ll see.
I started with a crust and a filling recipe, yet both I changed with a few substitutions to meet my desire to make a dessert without added sugar, fats or oils. And it was really easy. I’ve got the recipe to prove it.
Oatmeal-Date Crumble Crust
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2cup soaked dates (cover a dozen or so dates with water and soak overnight. Scoop out 1/2)
- 2 tsp. grated organic mandarin orange skin
Preheat oven to 375 F.
I put the oats into the food processor and ground them to a fine consistency, then added all the reaming ingredients and mixed well.
I then pressed this into the pie plate, just covering the bottom of the pan and not bothering with pushing it up the sides, then cooked it for 10 minutes. Then I set it to cool for filling later.
Chocolate Mousse Filling
- 1 Tblsp En-R-G egg replacer
- 2 Tblsp. hot water
- 12 oz carton Silken tofu (firm)
- 16 oz. firm tofu (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 4 rounded Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup soaked dates (prepare as for crust above)
- juice of one mandarin orange
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp. coconut flavoring
- 1 tsp. vanilla
1) Dissolve the En-R-G in hot water in the food processor. Then throw everything else in and process with “S” blade until it’s as smooth as you can get it. It will be like really thick cake batter. The dates should be mushy so will add moisture, but if it seems too stiff just add more moisture.
2) Pour it into the cooled crust and bake 35 – 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Zen Pie is not uber-sweet, which is part of its charm. It’s definitely bittersweet and the mandarin orange adds an aromatic mystery to the mix. You can use orange instead of the mandarin. The mandarin just transports you to the mountaintop monastery. If you want sweeter, just add more soaked dates. And the dates make the sweet possible with the moderating and filling effect of fiber. Chef AJ would be proud.
You know now where the “Zen” come from in the name. What about the Rockie?
Our squirrel-grrrl (see “the saga of Rockie the Squirrel” video) showed up on my kitchen-step after a 2 day walkabout, just as the sweet aroma of our New Year’s dessert hit the airwaves. Adorable opportunist.
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